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The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
Alfred Whitney Griswold
When you read and understand a poem, comprehending its rich and formal meanings, then you master chaos a little.
The point of an experiment is not to arrive at a predetermined end point, to prove or disprove anything, but to deliver a poem that reveals much about the process taken.
I've always felt, with 'The Iliad,' a real frustration that it's read wrong. That it's turned into this public school poem, which I don't think it is. That glamorising of war, and white-limbed, flowing-haired Greek heroes - it's become a cliched, British empire part of our culture.
The paintings may communicate even better because people are lazy and they can look at a painting with less effort than they can read a poem.
I think poetry is the only domain where a writer you like can truly be said to influence you, because you read and reread a poem so many times that it simply drills itself into your head.
I consider a poem to be a kind of experiment where a number of elements are brought together under test conditions to see how they will interact to create meaning or relevance.
The reason one writes poems is so that your poem will be remembered.
Sometimes you have a poem that you really want to write and it never happens.
C. K. Williams
Someone told me just recently that poets are eulogists. It's their job, to eulogize. I didn't know that, but it makes sense. Because in almost every poem of mine there is a loss.
There is no scientific discoverer, no poet, no painter, no musician, who will not tell you that he found ready made his discovery or poem or picture - that it came to him from outside, and that he did not consciously create it from within.
William Kingdon Clifford
I think of my peace paintings as one long poem, with each painting being a single stanza.
My parents' generation was definitely pre-telly, and they knew how to entertain each other. Everybody knew something that they could do - a song or a poem, or a piece of music. At school, I remember being a cat and then a budgie and then a bumble bee. I obviously thought all that was marvelous.
The most important tribute any human being can pay to a poem or a piece of prose he or she really loves is to learn it by heart. Not by brain, by heart; the expression is vital.
Learn poetry by heart. If you know a poem by heart, no one can take it away from you, and you can take advantage of it anytime.
My first spoken word poem, packed with all the wisdom of a 14-year-old, was about the injustice of being seen as unfeminine. The poem was very indignant, and mainly exaggerated, but the only spoken word poetry that I had seen up until that point was mainly indignant, so I thought that that's what was expected of me.
I always say that I'll have a go and see whether the poem works and if it does, then fine.
Carol Ann Duffy
I see the shape of the poem before I start writing, and the writing is just the process of arriving at the shape.
Carol Ann Duffy
I entered a poem in a poetry contest around 1987, and the poem won and I received $1,000 for it. That made me realize that maybe what I was writing was worth reading to people. After that, for some reason, I turned to novels and I've written mainly novels ever since.
It really gets on my goat that people keep quoting Dorothea Mackellar's 'My Country' as proof that there is no such thing as climate change. A poem written more than 100 years ago by a homesick 19 year old versus an ever-increasing body of refereed scientific thought... hmm, hard to know which way to jump, really.
The pleasure that I take in writing gets me interested in writing a poem. It's not a statement about what I think anybody else should be doing. For me, it's an interesting tension between interior and exterior.
The heart of the matter seems to me to be the direct interaction between one's making a poem in English and a poem in the language that one understands and values. I don't see how you can do it otherwise.
Students often have such a lofty idea of what a poem is, and I want them to realize that their own lives are where the poetry comes from. The most important things are to respect the language; to know the classical rules, even if only to break them; and to be prepared to edit, to revise, to shape.
Sometimes the only way I know how to work through something is by writing a poem. And sometimes I get to the end of the poem and look back and go, 'Oh, that's what this is all about,' and sometimes I get to the end of the poem and haven't solved anything, but at least I have a new poem out of it.
One reason to write a poem is to flush from the deep thickets of the self some thought, feeling, comprehension, question, music, you didn't know was in you, or in the world.
William Arthur Ward
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Seek not greatness, but seek truth and you will find both.
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